My last blog post on my adventures in editing ended with sending my manuscript to an alpha reader for feedback. That feedback arrived a few weeks ago and I was unprepared for my own emotional reaction. Immediately upon reading the comments, I had an intense urge to go to my files and delete the whole manuscript.
It’s crap. No one will ever read it. Who do I think I am? You call yourself a writer and an editor… what a joke!
That was my internal dialogue at the time. It’s called “imposter syndrome” and I’m thrilled to report it did begin to recede. Within a week, my self-confidence returned. What a relief that was! I am so happy that I resisted that initial urge and decided to shelve the feedback and my manuscript for two weeks. I have now dusted it off and am in the process of editing it again… part 2 has begun.
I am learning that editing a manuscript is a balancing act. Is the reader engaged and do they remain engaged in the story? Are the characters believable? Does the MC grow and develop through the story? Is the dialogue believable and does it flow smoothly? Is there enough conflict?
The list literally could go on forever. Then the word “revision” jumped off the page and I panicked. What the heck did that mean? I immediately had a vision of chopping my story into pieces and laying them out on a page while I moved them around, changed the order and flow and put it all back together.
It felt like a bucket of cold water had been dumped over my head. I gasped and my mind reeled at the sheer scope of the task. Was it necessary?
I didn’t know.
So I researched and found out that other authors in my genre revise up to thirteen times. Seriously? Okay, it’s obviously a part of the editing process that I missed. What to do next… I was at a loss. I looked at Plottr for help and realized I need to watch the training videos for that before I use it.
In the midst of that process, I received a God-ordained chat message and the nutshell version is I am editing using some of the feedback from my first alpha reader and then sending the manuscript out to a second alpha reader for her feedback since she is a reader of the genre I am writing and my first alpha reader doesn’t read that genre.
Onwards as the learning continues… stay tuned for part 3.